btenny wrote:How does a charging cycle count in a Tesla? Does it like to the charged and plugged in every day even if it is not driven? I am thinking about older people like me who do not commute owning a Tesla 3 and charging it after going to the store for 3 miles and then doing that every day. Does that use up the charge cycles? I thought Li-ion batteries were only good for 2000 cycles (or so) which makes me wonder how they count those cycles. Or is the recommended process like a ICE car where you only charge it if it is down to 1/4 full? Anyone know?
Also what are the home charging rules if the car is not driven much. Do you keep it plugged in? How about not driving it for 2-3 months?
Tesla generally recommends keeping the car plugged in when not being driven. A common saying is, "A plugged-in Tesla is a happy Tesla". Here's what my manual says:
Model S has one of the most sophisticated
battery systems in the world. The most
important way to preserve the Battery is to
LEAVE YOUR Model S PLUGGED IN when you
are not using it. This is particularly important if
you are not planning to drive Model S for
several weeks. When plugged in, Model S
wakes up when needed to automatically
maintain a charge level that maximizes the
lifetime of the Battery.
There is no advantage to waiting until the
Battery’s level is low before charging. In fact,
the Battery performs best when charged
From a practical perspective, we usually plug in when we're done driving it for the day. We definitely don't bother plugging in between short local trips in a single day.
We typically set the charge level to 80%. If for some reason I've set the charge level higher, and at the end of the day we're above 80%, I may not plug in overnight, but since it only takes a few seconds to plug in, it doesn't really matter much. Conversely, if I do a longish local trip that depletes the battery to say 50% or less, I'll usually plug in when I get home, just so we have the reserve if something unexpected comes up; and chances are we won't use the car anymore during that day anyway. I wouldn't bother plugging in if I got home with 50% or even less and I knew I was going to take a short local trip soon after.
Obviously when traveling and staying at hotels without destination chargers, which usually is the case, we don't plug in overnight.
You don't lose much capacity with daily charging in the 50%-90% range, which is the range Tesla recommends for daily use. From Tesla forum posts I've seen, there seems to be a small capacity loss in the first year or so, but then it slows down. Based on the rated miles I see at 100% charge (which I only charge to immediately before a long trip leg), I appear to have lost maybe 3% capacity in less than one year, but it doesn't seem to have declined since then. Even this is subject to some uncertainty, since the rated miles displayed is based on the computer's estimate, and apparently that could increase if you do a few deep charge cycles (charge to 100% then drive until less than 10% a few times), since this can provide the computer with a better range of data to use in estimating rated miles.